Once upon a time......... Actually, this isn't that kind of story. This is a story about how I have an extremely hard time taking photographs of people. By people, I mean human beings naturally without staging a scene. In my eyes photographing people is a very personal experience. If you look at the work of Rodney Smith, Milton Greene, and Vivian Maier, it reflects exactly what I associate with the word portraiture. Photography as a whole is an almost magical art form. From images of beautiful landscapes, colorful inanimate objects, to wildlife. People though, to me, are a bit more complex.
To me, taking a portrait of an individual is a very frightful task. In my eyes, its my responsibility to do the subject justice through my work. The decisions with lighting, placement, and composition play hand in hand with bringing the attention and focus on that subject. At that point, its up to them to show me who they are and how they want to be seen in front of my lens. I can only hope to give them the emotion, dignity, and strength that I saw within in them at that moment, back through my work.
I can honestly say that I have a lot to learn. The work below was by far the most fun I have ever had with a subject. I tend to want to shoot a subject as naturally as I can without anything being forced. I am drawn to street photography for that reason. The largest hurdle I need to overcome, is learning to slow down. I tend to rush and push myself to set my aperture, iso, and shutter speed as quickly as I can, only to then fail at thinking outside the box. I catch myself mid session and think about my point of view. Why didn't I shoot lower or higher? Why didn't I use a longer exposure? What was the point behind me using that aperture? Why didn't I compose a certain way? Did I use the sun the way I wanted?
Overly calculating in my head, I tend to miss the moments. Being in the moment and producing quality work is my goal moving forward.